An echocardiogram (echo) uses ultrasound to create pictures of the heart. The test lets your doctor check your heart valves, the four sections (chambers) of your heart, blood flow and movement in the heart. A hand-held wand is moved over your chest during the test to collect the images. Many times, Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler are combined with an echo to check blood flow across the heart’s valves.
An echo is used to:
Yes. You can eat and drink as usual on the day of the test.
Yes. Take all medications as usual on the day of the test.
You may wear anything you like. You will change into a hospital gown before the test. Please do not bring valuables with you.
The test shouldn’t cause pain or major discomfort. The gel can feel cold on your skin, and you may feel a little pressure as the wand moves on your skin.
The appointment will take about 60 minutes. After the test, you will get dressed and go home or go to other appointments you have scheduled.
A cardiologist will review your test and share the results with your doctor.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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